Sailing Club

June 9 - 13, 2008

Now that the 2008 Texas 200 is over, I will be posting pictures and stories here. If you have photos, please send them to me on a disk and I will post thumbnails here so that you can look at them and ask the photographer for the originals. The same goes for video clips. Likewise if you have a story to tell, send it to me and I will post that here as well.

Photos & Videos Accounts



Messabout Only

Some Brief Summaries:

The beach near Paul's Mott - click to enlarge
The inaugural Texas 200 is now history and it was a great success by all accounts. You can read several accounts and see many photo albums HERE. We had nearly 40 boats joining at least some part of the event. Boats ranged from PDRacers (3) to Hobie 18's (2) to Catalina 350's (1) and about everything in between.

There were a few adjustments in the route and hopefully those will be permanent. The second night we tied up at the Padre Island Yacht Club docks instead of the anchorage around the corner and Wednesday, we camped on the shell beach near Paul's Mott rather than Deadmans Island. The folks at the yacht club were very hospitable, providing not only docks, but showers and rides to town for supplies and restaurant meals as well. We feared the windy conditions we encountered would mean waves would be breaking over Deadman's island so we opted for nearby Paul's Mott instead. That turned out to be a great spot.

Checking charts at PIYC

Will there be another Texas 200?

Yes. We had a meeting on Friday night after we landed at Magnolia Beach and the unanimous decision was that I would continue in my role as Big Kahuna. This was fine with me. I worried about the chores and pressures of the job but after only a couple of days, it became obvious that things were going to pretty much run themselves. When anything needed doing, someone always seemed to step up and do it. So by the time of the meeting, I was ready for a replay.

The Texas 200 will remain a non-profit organization, but rather than the complication and work of a voting body, bylaws, etc., I have decided to simply operate as a dictator - until I get voted out, that is.

What else will change?

The 3 PDR sailors

I have thought a lot and I think we can overlay some different types of competition over the Texas 200 format. I have heard suggestions from outright racing, to rally style competition to something like a geocache/scavenger hunt. I would be willing to talk to anyone who wants to organize such a contest to take place during the next Texas 200. The PDRacer record-setting run this year is an example of an event within an event. Any or all of these would be optional and I could easily see more than one going on at the same time.

Another thing that will change is is the arrangements for the shuttle. We will be offering tickets for the shuttle bus at around $50 each. We think there will be 55 available and previous attendees will have first shot at purchasing them. Of course, anyone who can arrange their own shuttle will not have to buy a ticket. Any left over funds will go for the Friday night shrimp boil and a donation to the PIYC. Tickets will go on sale about a month before the next Texas 200 as that is the earliest we can make the reservation. Anyone who rode the shuttle the year before will have first shot at tickets. After that it will be first come, first served.

What lessons were learned?

Bill and Paul Moffitt on Mikesboat

I tried to warn folks about the high winds and the bay chop and the distances involved and the sun and critters and shallow water but sometimes people have to learn lessons the hard way. The Miller family was one this year. Read their account here but don't be too smug. There were quite a few boats that did not make the entire route with the group. One boat barely made it two miles before losing a rudder in shallow water. A number of boats were unable to make Army Hole because they couldn't beat upwind across Espirtu Santo Bay. For the most part these guys were either unprepared or inexperienced or their boats were untested.

One exception was Bill and Paul Moffitt. They built Jim Michalak's Mikesboat (named "Embers Watch") just before the start and hauled the boat from Atlanta for the event. In fact they were still rigging the boat the day before we all took off from Port Mansfield. But they did fine, in fact the boat turned out to be fast and seaworthy. Modest man that he is, Bill Moffitt said of the boat: "I will take credit for making Embers Watch and that the pieces I made did not break. But Jim Michalak gets the credit for a very successful design; all I did was follow the plans." Bill and Paul are both experienced sailors who have proven that seamanship trumps an untested boat.

Kellan Hatch and his inflatable tri

Another fellow who was successful with a relatively untested boat was Kellan Hatch. Kellan had a friend lined up to trail his XCR expedition trimaran down from Salt Lake City where Kellan would meet up for the Texas 200. That deal fell through two months beforehand so Kellan, totally committed to being here, scrambled to put together a boat for the event. His creation was an inflatable trimaran called Fugu that he brought in a suitcase when he flew down.

Also I should mention Charlie Jones who added amas to his CLC John's Sharpie to make it into a nice cruising trimaran at the last minute. And finally I really need to point out that two of the three PDRacers were built by Jason Nabors in the months leading up to the Texas 200. Undoubtedly there were others who overcame obstacles. In contrast there were production boats that did not finish the course - I won't name any of them however.

Chuck Leinweber